Chocolate Cherry Preserves

chocolate cherry preserves


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh sweet cherries
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon calcium water (included in Pomona’s Pectin package)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder


  1. Prepare jars, lids and bands; heat up canner and sterilize jars. Mix up calcium water.
  2. Rinse cherries, remove stems, slice in half and remove pits. Combine cherry halves, cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. While the mixture is heating, mix pectin and sugar in a separate bowl.
  4. Add cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if desired), lemon juice, and calcium water to chocolate cherry mix. Stir until blended.
  5. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil over high heat. Once the cherry mixture has reached a full boil, slowly add the pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil.
  6. Once the chocolate cherry preserves return to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat.
  7. To can the preserves, ladle preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims with a damp cloth and screw on lids finger tight.
  8. Lower jars into boiling water canner. Jars should not touch, and should be covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner and return to rolling boil.
  9. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary). Turn off canner and move jars to towel on counter top. Let jars rest until completely cooled. (I usually let them sit overnight.)
  10. Check seals, remove rings, date and label. Store out of direct sunlight and use within 18 months for best quality.


The cinnamon and cayenne give these preserves more of a mole flavor, but it’s fine to leave them out if you prefer.

You may substitute 1 teaspoon of citric acid for the 1/4 cup  lemon juice.

Keywords: cherries, sweet cherries, preserves, canning recipes, summer fruits